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SLGTM, Birdmonster, Islands, and Twinkle the Porcupine   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, June 29, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE PIPETTES are profiled by London's Telegraph, giving the backstory o­n theor run at mixing pre-fab pop with a punk DIY spirit. The article mentions that the band's new video for "Pull Shapes" recreates a scene from Valley of the Dolls, but it actually recreates the party scene from the kitsch classic Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. And since I've noted that here already (though we now have the original movie clip o­n YouTube), I'm also linking to the video for "Dirty Mind," so you can see how far they've come in a short period of time. As usual, there's plenty more Pipettes to stream from the Hype Machine.

ARCADE FIRE have recorded 15 songs for the band's next album and hope to record with a full orchestra in Budapest.

SATURDAY LOOKS GOOD TO ME: Good Hodgkins has an interview with frontman Fred Thomas about a band that -- as GH describes it -- is "on the verge of either falling apart or breaking through." Longtime Pate fans know all about that. You can stream some SLGTM via the Hype Machine.

THOM YORKE: The Radiohead frontman talsk to the L.A. Times about making his his don't-call-it-a-solo album with visual artist Stanley Donwood and producer Nigel Godrich: ""In the midst of it all there were two or three things that made Nigel and me go, ooh, there's something really direct here. Someone might even understand it the first time around."

TAPES 'N' TAPES: The band with the blog buzz talks to Marathon Press about a range of topics, including why they signed to XL Records and what members of the band think about The Pixies, Pavement and Rush.  You can stream four tracks that sound more like the former than the latter via MySpace.

THE BOTTLE ROCKETS got a nice write-up from the Kentucky Herald-Leader for cleaning up and making their new album, Zoysia.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: I was in the mood for some power pop (when am I not?), so I decided to "Go All The Way" with the Raspberries from 1974.

BIRDMONSTER: Noise For Toaster interviews bassist Justin Tenuto about influences, pirates vs. ninjas, and PBJ vs. fluffernutter. I think he's dead right about music blogs, too. You can stream 'em from MySpace and download an entire set from WOXY.

THE FUTUREHEADS bassist David "Jaff" Craig talks to PopMatters about leaving Warner Bros. to make their second album. There's YouTube video embedded in the story, too.

ISLANDS mastermind Nick Diamonds talked to Pitchfork about the necessity of relentless touring and wanting to work with producer Jeff Lynne (formerly of ELO). He also sets the record straight about a Pitchfork review of an Islands live show. There's Islands in the stream at the Hype Machine.

RHETT MILLER: The Old 97s frontman has done o­ne of those "Music You Should Hear" lists for Amazon. It's all indie, but with no alt-country or Americana.

THE BET AWARDS: Apparently the highlight was a performance by Chaka Khan, Prince and Stevie Wonder. Follow the link to see the video.

BRITNEY SPEARS is pretty close to nude o­n the cover and in the August issue of Harper's Bazaar. BritneySpy's copies turned up allover the 'net. Don't say I didn't warn you. Perhaps she can plead insanity caused by the incessantly rapping Spenderline.

SUPERMAN RETURNS screenwriters Mike Dougherty and Dan Harris suggest they left the phrase "...and the American Way" out of the movie because it no longer means what it did back in 1945. Harris told Page Six: "I don't think 'the American way' means what it meant in 1945. He's an alien, from Krypton; he has come to Earth to be kind of a saviour for this world, not our country... And he has no papers." Dougherty adds, "He's not just for Metropolis and not just for America. What would happen with the immigration laws we have now?" The normally apolitical Tyler Durden has an historical response, to which I would add that the studio is probably thrilled every time someone says anything that might put people off of going to their 250 million dollar, 2 1/2 hour long movie.

PIRATES: Though Superman Returns is waving off any suggestion of a gay subtext (and rightly so, having seen it), Johnny Depp likes the idea of Capt. Jack Sparrow being sexually ambiguous. It's a whole rum, sodomy and the lash sorta thing.

BRADGELINA: London's ever-reliable Sun claims that Jolie has offended Pit's parents by refusing to dress Shiloh in the frilly pink outfits they bought as a gift.

JESSICA SIMPSON is telling E! News co-host Ryan Seacrest that she's not ready to date after her divorce, but someone else told Life & Style Weekly that the pneumatic blonde and comedian Dane Cook "looked like two people trying not to look like a couple but who really wanted to rip each other’s clothes off" last week at a Hollywood nightclub.

ASHLEE SIMPSON, meanwhile has reportedly tuned down a four million offer to pose for Playboy, for which we thank her, though she might be better at that than singing.

NICOLE KIDMAN and KEITH URBAN are honeymooning in Bora Bora. Obviously, some parts are more romantic than others.

JACKO has fired his business managers, has hired a New York firm "known for business restructurings and turnarounds" to oversee his financial affairs and is moving to Europe.

KATE MOSS was turned down by Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner, o­n the advice of his mother.

GWYNETH PALTROW: Contrary to internet rumors, Mrs. Coldplay is not working o­n an album.

KATE BECKINSALE should realize that if she's going to check out what's under her husband's towel at the beach, she shouldn't giggle afterward.

MADONNA is back home touring the UK, so she was surely thrilled to hear about this piece in the Daily Mail: "Why do Madonna's hands look older than her face?" Follow the link for an unflattering close-up.

SPIDER-MAN 3 is still a year away, but you can see the teaser trailer o­nline in Windows Media or Quicktime formats.

EDU-BLOGGING: The 73rd Carnival of Education is o­nline. This week it appears to be hosted by a homeschooler.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA, speaking about religion and politics to a conference of Call to Renewal, a faith-based movement to overcome poverty, said: "Nothing is more transparent than inauthentic expressions of faith: the politician who shows up at a black church around election time and claps -- off rhythm -- to the gospel choir." That's pretty close to suggesting that Whitey doesn't have rhythm. If the Rev. Jesse Jackson was white, he'd already be demanding an apology.

IRAQ: At ITM, Omar reports details o­n the capture of o­ne of the Samarrah shrine bombers and is glad that Prime Minister al-Maliki has said clearly that amnesty will not be offered to killers of Coalition soldiers. Eleven Sunni insurgent groups have now offered to halt all attacks -- but with serious strings attached. And if you want to see the relationship of these groups to each other, here's a chart. Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his country's special services to hunt down and "destroy" the killers of four Russian diplomats in Iraq. So far, no complaints from folks who think the US -- and Pres. Bush in particular -- alienates the rest of the world with cowboy talk.

FUGITIVE BEAR UPDATE: Bruno, the first bear to roam Gemany in 170 years, may have been shot dead, but there remains the sorting out of commercial opportunities. German toymakers said they were planning to produce a teddy bear to immortalise Bruno. Meanwhile, an entrepreneur plans to sue a hunter for shooting Bruno o­ne day after he printed hundreds of Bruno T-shirts with the slogan: "You'll never catch me."

IN OTHER BEAR NEWS, another fugitive bear named Boo smashed a heavy steel door and barreled through two electric fences to escape a second time from a resort in British Columbia. And the current "three bears" trilogy is complete with this report of a bear trying to squeeze its way through a kitchen window in Nevada City, CA.

MUFFY UPDATE: We now have video of America's longest python.

CHAMELEON SNAKE: A new species of snake that can change its skin color has been discovered by researchers scouring through swamps in the heart of Borneo.

IS THERE A TIGER prowling North Yorkshire in the UK?

TWINKLE THE PORCUPINE reportedly burrowed out of a farm visitors center in northwest England. Cumbria Police have warned the public not to approach the animal because her detachable quills can become embedded in skin. At least she is not as dangerous as Spiny Norman.

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Art Brut, Elephant 6, Superman Returns and the World's Ugliest Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, June 28, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

ART BRUT fans have started a petition for the band to play its "Top of the Pops" o­n TOTP before the show ends its 42-year run next month. Unfortunately, the song does not turn up o­n the Hype Machine, though you can still stream great tunes like "Formed A Band" and "Emily Kane" there. You can see a bit of "TOTP" o­n YouTube... and Dale will be glad to know there's a little homage to the Kinks in it. However, the pictured video is for "Emily Kane," which is a little Ray Davies and a little Jonathan Richman.

ANN COULTER IS A DEADHEAD: No, really. The provocatress sings the praises of the Grateful Dead in an interview at Jambands.

SLEATER-KINNEY is going o­n an "indefinite hiatus" with no plans for future tours or recordings. So the band's final destination looks to be Lollapalooza. For now, you can stream a couple from MySpace and a few more via the Hype Machine, though music bloggers may have posted more by the time you read this.

EARWORM: London's Guardian has its readers share the irritating songs that stick in their heads. Remember, if you read it, you could catch it.

JOLIE HOLLAND: Ken Tucker does an audio review of the really rootsy singer-songwriter's latest LP, Springtime Can Kill You. You should be able to find plenty of Jolie to stream via the Hype Machine.

AXL ROSE was arrested in Stockholm after allegedly biting a security guard in the leg at his hotel.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Lloyd Cole & The Commotions play "Perfect Skin" from the band's first album, Rattlesnakes.

REGINA SPECTOR: The idiosyncratic singer-songwriter shows a writer from London's Guardian her love of NYC, while the Village Voice notes that having immigrated from Russia when she was nine, she occasionally spars with US-bashing Europeans. She sounds like a more modern Nellie McKay or a more interesting Norah Jones if you stream some from her ever-popular MySpace page.

ROGUE WAVE: Zach Rogue talks to the Denver Post about various things, including why he doesn't use his real last name, which is Schwartz. There's plenty of Rogue Wave streaming via the Hype Machine, including the band's live cover of Thunderclap Newman's "Something In The Air."

THE DOORS are getting a star o­n Hollywood's Walk of Fame. But so are Mariah Carey, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Crystal Gayle, Tim McGraw, Leann Rimes and Shania Twain.

THE LEMONHEADS, which now refers to Evan Dando and a pair of former Descendents, will have a new album in the fall, the "band's" first in a decade (not counting Dando's '03 solo disc).

PINK FLOYD frontman Roger Waters, who inspired the rock band's iconic album The Wall, scrawled "tear down the wall" o­n the concrete panels of Israel's West Bank barrier last Wednesday. The Wall came out when I was in high school, so I heard it a lot, but I dont remember there being anything about suicide bombers o­n it.

THE ELEPHANT 6 COLLECTIVE gets an oral history compiled by PopMatters. Turns out that a Cheap Trick concert is part of it! Meanwhile, YANP points to an unconfirmed report that E6 major domo Jeff Mangum may have an album and tour coming under some name. A bunch of E6 bands can be streamed from the Hype Machine, including The Apples In Stereo, Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control and Beulah.

SUPERMAN RETURNS is in theaters today, so I -- as a service to you -- went to an advance screening.  So, was it any good?  First, let's note that Rotten Tomatoes now has it 79 Fresh overall, 73 percent from the "cream of the crop," with Ebert not liking it. The average rating from each is a 7.3 and a 7.1, respectively.  And that's about right, or maybe that's a few points too low.  Superman Returns was good, but not great, and certainly not everyone-sees-it-twice to make back the 250 million budget great.  Bryan Singer brings some emotional depth to the story generally and Kal-El particularly (and someone cut the trailer material that made people wonder if there was going to be some gay subtext -- though Singer was correct to say this is a very hetero Superman, bordering o­n stalking Lois Lane).  Unfortunately, this seems to have come at the expense of the pure fun element you should have in a Superman movie.  Thus, the action set pieces are technically amazing, but not as viscerally satisfying as they should be, especially for a film checking in at 2 1/2 hours.  Brandon Routh does a creditable imitation of Christopher Reeve; Kate Bosworth may have been better than Margot Kidder (which, if you revisit the Richard Donner original, may strike you as faint praise, but she benefits from my low expectation).  Kevin Spacey turns in a worthy Lex Luthor.  He might suffer compared to Gene Hackman, but both Lois and Lex benefit from better writing this time around.  There's a kid in the movie who is not played as super-precocious, which was refreshing.  There's plenty of homage to the Donner film -- and plenty of nods to the John Williams score -- without turning into fromage.

REESE WITHERSPOON, having filed suit against Star magazine for speculating that she was pregnant, is now wearing baggy clothes and covering her belly with a shopping bag, probably just to mess with the tabloids. Which I admit is pretty funny.

LINDSAY LOHAN makes the Gallery of the Absurd by way of the Wanton Starlet Trading Card.

NTTAWWT: Internet gambling sites are taking bets o­n the next celeb to come out of the closet. It's an interesting list.

HEATHER MILLS McCARTNEY is terrified that she is a target for assassination — because of her links to The Beatles. But Yoko Ono doesn't find it necessary to videotape random people o­n the street as evidence.

CAMERON DIAZ spends enough time playing in the surf that she should know her bikini top is going to fall off sometimes.

KATE MOSS: The supposed sober supermodel still stirs controversy as anti-drugs campaigners condemn the haste with which fashion companies like Burberry have brought her back.

JACK BLACK is reportedly furious that he hasn't received any multi-million dollar offers from magazines for photos of his new son Samuel. He blames the recent spate of high-profile births for "flooding the market." I'm pretty sure he's kidding.

PIRATES: The premiere of Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest at Disneyland also marked the re-opening of the ride that inspired the movies. LaughingPlace has pics and video of the re-tooled attraction.

THE SOPRANOS: Chef Artie Bucco pleaded guilty o­n Monday to drunk driving.

QUENTIN TARANTINO and ROBERT RODRIGUEZ talk to Entertainment Weekly about their current project, Grind House, which is a a tribute to zombie romps, slasher flicks, and women-in-prison extravaganzas.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON and WOODY ALLEN have re-teamed to make the upcoming Scoop and are lavishing each other with praise. Allen says, "Scarlett is God’s answer to Job. God would say, 'I've created a terrifying and horrible universe, but I can also make o­ne of these, so stop complaining." Johansson says, "He has a genuine thirst for knowledge. And he’s a very passionate person about work and music and all kinds of things—certainly about women." I say, "Soon-Yi, it's time to start visiting the set regularly."

IRAQ: Forensics experts unearthing the skeletons of Saddam's alleged victims have found an unexpected wealth of identification cards in mass graves. A fascinating story of two US Colonels clashing at Camp Taji that ran o­n the subscription-side of The Wall Street Journal is reprinted at the link, if you scroll down a bit. And the AP runs a story o­n up-armored Humvees saving the lives of US troops. A recent investigation by the Dayton Daily News noted that up-armored Humvees are also taking the lives of US troops, but the press made much of the lack of armor o­n Humvees, so the downside is simply ignored and the public never learns whether the armor is an overall benefit (my guess would be it's useful in some places and dangerous in others).

HADJI GIRL: Reuters "reports:" "The U.S. military will not punish a Marine who performed an obscenity-laced song to a laughing and cheering crowd of fellow troops in Iraq making light of killing Iraqis, the Marine Corps said o­n Tuesday." Reuters then proceeds to take o­ne or two lines of the song out of context, when the song is about a US soldier getting abushed by a family of insurgents. It turns out that a Marine Corps official suggested what I did at the last link -- that poor taste, poor judgment and poor timing, not to mention offensive lyrics, do not necessarily amount to criminal conduct.

AYAAN HIRSI ALI: The reformist Muslim member of the Dutch parliament will retain her her citizenship, which the government threatened to strip, based o­n a technicality after she became internationally known for speaking out against the oppressive practices of sharia law. Hirsi Ali has had to maintain a high level of security due to threats against her life for voicing views critical of certain aspects of Islam.

THE WORLD'S UGLIEST DOG CONTEST was held recently at the Sonoma-Marin Fair. Archie -- the Chinese crested pictured above -- won, but if you follow the link, you can find the gallery of dogs -- and I think Archie was far from ugliest. There are video links at the link also. (Thanks, Lance!)

FUGITIVE BEAR UPDATE: Bruno, the first wild bear known to have meandered into Germany in about 170 years, was "painlessly done away with" near the town of Bayrischzell. Hubert Weinzierl, president of the German Ring of Nature Preservation, is among the outraged: "In other countries, bear and man are living peacefully together. o­nly in Germany is the bear liquidated."

FLORIDA GATOR UPDATE: The gator which is thought to have attacked and carried off a miniature Shih Tzu last weekend was captured in Largo.

A GIANT CAPRICORN BEETLE, unseen in the UK for 300 years and rare anywhere in the world, was discovered living in a piece furniture due to be recycled.

WALRUSES are making like lemmings, plummeting off cliffs to their death o­n a Bristol Bay beach in Alaska. Goo goo goo joob!

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New Releases, Broken Mascis Scene, Cutout Bin and Moose is mourned   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, June 27, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

ROBERT POLLARD, hiding under the name Townshend Research, played Schuba's in Chicago o­n the 22nd. The sound is bad, but you're right up front for the GbV classic "Game of Pricks." And that's Tommy Keene o­n guitar, too.

NEW RELEASES: You know it's a slow week when Grant Lee Phillips is the o­nly full album that catches my attention at AOL Music. MySpace has new stuff from The Coral Sea, which is kinda ambient and kinda psychedelic, and Dirty o­n Purpose, which got a nice review from Frank at Chromewaves.

BROKEN MASCIS SCENE: Speaking of Chromewaves, Frank also has a writeup of the J Mascis - Broken Social Scene gig that surveyed the greatest hits of the Dinosaur, Jr. catalog. Plenty of linkage to MP3s, streams and pics, as well as to background o­n the gig from Canada's Globe & Mail.

GOMEZ and THE BAD PLUS played DC last week, so you can stream both sets from NPR now. Gomez's latest album, How We Operate, is getting generally favorable reveiews o­n Metacritic.

TOP OF THE POPS: Stylus looks back at the just-cancelled UK music TV classic, noting (among other things) why it thrived during the punk era over The Old Grey Whistle Test.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: There is plenty of Porky's-style voyeurism in this clip of Dwight Twilley's "Girls."

THE GO! TEAM: Scotland o­n Sunday reports the members are able to quit their day jobs, but that Ian Parton seems to have a full-time job finding and getting clearance for obscure samples. There's plenty to stream via the Hype Machine, including a cover of Sonic Youth's "Bull In The Heather."

EMPIRICALLY GOOD MUSIC: I don't know if there really is such a thing, but it's always nice to read when someone like Leah at Ashcan Rantings writes about being exposed to -- and falling in love with -- music not o­n the basic radio menu.

THE CUTOUT BIN: Here's another helping of fortuitous finds from the Hype Machine. Baz Lurhmann - "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" (Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich accidentally spawned the Gen-X version of "Desiderata"); Cheap Trick - "Hot Love" (like a Pate fan would pass it up); Buzzcocks - "Ever Fallen In Love?" (probably my favorite of theirs); The Byrds - "Triad" (which helped get David Crosby kicked out of the band); Yo La Tengo - "Beanbag Chair" (brand new and surprisingly poppy); The Slugs - "Hooked o­n a Feeling" (ooga-chuckas from Pravda Records' Super Fantastic Mega Smash Hits ); Os Mutantes - "Desculpe, babe" (Tropicalia in advance of the P-Fork fest); The Who - "The Seeker" (from a time when you would just put out a great song as a single); The Hollies - "The Air That I Breathe" (just for the harmonies); Funland - "Obligatory Cover (For The Kids)" (I'm warning you, it's not for people with taste).

LEONARD COHEN: Filter talks to Teddy Thompson, Rufus Wainwright and Lian Lunson, the director of Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man about the songwriter and the man.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: Babyshambles briefly broke up after the troubled singer left the rest of the band waiting at London’s Waterloo station for six hours, when they were due to go to Paris. But Pete apologized, and the band flew in to the city of lights.

DEAD MAN'S CHEST: Saturday's world premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest at Disneyland was a swashbuckling good time, according to USA Today, and a fashion shipwreck, according to TMZ. However, the latter doesn't cite Keira Knightley. Without Rupert Friend lurking nearby, the Mouse was totally macking o­n the Chael-clad starlet. Of course, some of you might prefer to go straight to the pics of Kightley in the see-thru tank top.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: It seems that the reason we haven't seen pics of the Tom-Kitten is that none of the tabloids wanted to pony up four million bucks like they did for Shiloh Jolie-Pitt. Three million is just plain insulting to the Tom-Kat, y'know.

BRITNEY SPEARS, otoh, even has trouble selling photos of herself these days. It probably doesn't help when you attack the very tabloids to which you're trying to sell the pics.

PATRICIA ARQUETTE got hitched to actor Thomas Jane last weekend, while everyone was paying attention to Nicole Kidman and Marcia Cross.

NICOLE KIDMAN and KEITH URBAN seem to be happy enough to enjoy the attention at the Sydney hotel where Urban had been staying before the wedding.

JOHN CUSACK wants a restraining order against a woman who he says has been stalking him.

JESSICA SIMPSON: The pneumatic blonde's new single may sound like Madonna's "Holiday," but the rollerskating themed video will look like Madonna's "Sorry." Eva Longoria, Christina Applegate, Christina Milian, Maria Menounos, Ryan Seacrest and Andy Dick make cameos. The first four are nice, but some PR flack should be fired for raising expectations with rumors that it would be Longoria, Jessica Alba, Eva Mendes and Carmen Electra strapping o­n the skates. ALSO: Shes now denied that she's dating Jared Leto.

BRADGELINA: Jolie has been making the news recently, so let's note that Brad Pitt is o­ne of 15 people making America great, according to Newsweek magazine. I also learned that Target is people, too.

THE EMMY AWARDS have changed their nomination procedures, which could result in some overlooked and new titles — like Gilmore Girls or Battlestar Galactica — making the list of nominees in the top Emmy categories for the first time. These changes are already incorporated in the predictions at EmmyWatch 2006, which is run by Robert Licuria (who also runs the forums at the Gold Derby.

LINDSAY LOHAN is a great spender and a great kisser, proving it's all about practice, practice, practice.

WHITNEY HOUSTON has supposedly detoxed her cracktastic self, with a little help from Denzel Washington and Mel Gibson. Hope springs eternal.

PETRA NEMCOVA: The tsunami-surviving supermodel was playing "music" by James Blunt at her latest photo shoot because it made her feel more sexy. A former Nemcova boyfrend says Blunt should be having the best sex ever. So how do these stories square with Blunt having a dinner date with the French Hotel?

WARD CHURCHILL UPDATE: The University of Colorado professor who called some of the World Trade Center victims "little Eichmanns" in an essay he wrote after 9/11 is being dismissed after investigations found him guilty of research misconduct and "repeated and deliberate" infractions of scholarship rules. He will appeal and -- if he loses -- probably sue.

ROBOTS: Given the recent prediction that people will be having sex with robots in five years, I guess it's not a shock that robots are already having sex with each other.

IRAQ: At ITM, Mohammed translates an al-Sabah story o­n the militant groups accepting the national reconciliation plan. This seems consistent with reports (like yesterday's) of the major terror groups not accepting it, as they seem unlikely candidates for amnesty. The Counter-terrorism blog notes a Moroccan newspaper report that Iran may have given Jordan intell help locating Zarqawi. Ray Robison, formerly of the Iraq Survey Group, translates and analyzes a recently declassified document suggesting that Saddam's inner circle not o­nly actively reached out to the Taliban and jihadists in the region, but also hosted discussions with a known Al Qaeda operative about creating jihad training "centers," possibly in Baghdad.

EAST TIMOR: The Financial Times reports o­n the resignation of the prime minister following the worst violence seen in the country since Indonesia's bloody withdrawal in 1999. East Timor does not get much media coverage in the US; it does down under because Aussie troops are involved. Consequently, Aussie columnists like Andrew Bolt have noticed the double-standard applied to East Timor compared to Iraq.

MOOSE, the feisty Jack Russell terrier who played Eddie for 10 years o­n TV's Frasier, has died at 16 1/2.

ANIMAL HOARDING: In Petaluma, CA, Roger Dier admits that, yeah, a thousand rats does seem like too many for a o­ne-bedroom house.

FOUR PELICANS DETAINED o­n suspicion of drunk and disorderly conduct in Laguna Beach, CA.

SQUIRRELS: Nothing but trouble, I tell you.

MUFFY: At 22 feet, 1/4 inch long, she takes the title of largest Burmese python o­n display in America away from the Bronx Zoo's Lulu. But Muffy wasn't ready for her 15 minutes of fame, fuming, spewing from her nostrils and opening her jaws wide enough to swallow a poodle as she was held down and measured.

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More Awesome Music Video, Festivals, Wilco and a Smoking Chimp   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 26, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

MORE AWESOME MUSIC VIDEOS: Or, as Modern Demogogue titled its list, "50+ Music Videos Thare Are More Awesome Than The Ones o­n Pitchfork's Crappy List." MD certainly makes me wonder how the P-Forkers missed Alicia Silverstone and Liv Tyler in Aerosmith's "Crazy" and Christoper Walken in Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice."

INTONATION FESTIVAL: Chicagoist reports from Union Park, complete with a Flickr photoset including snaps of everyone from Roky Erikson to -- as Ken King would be glad to see -- local poetry dude Thax.

BONNAROO FESTIVAL: Cable and Tweed hooks you up with audio highlights you can stream from the Hype Machine, such as Stevie Nicks joining headliner Tom Petty for "Stop Dragging My Heart Around."

WHO'S LEFT: Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshed really don't get along. And Roger, for his part, likes it that way.

ARTHUR LEE: The Love frontman is among the first to receive a bone marrow transplant from umbilical stem cells, but is still fighting leukemia. Stereogum reports o­n the NYC benefit concert featuring everyone from Robert Plant and Ian Hunter to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah frontman Alec Ounsworth. You can follow links there to Scenestars for background o­n Arthur Lee and Love, and you can stream and download a few classic Love tracks via MySpace, though none from the classic album Forever Changes.

ELVIS COSTELLO and DIANA KRALL are expecting a baby in December.

KOOL & THE GANG co-founder and lead guitarist Claydes Charles Smith died after a long illness at 57. He co-wrote songs including "Celebration" and "Jungle Boogie."

SUFJAN STEVENS: *Sixeyes hooks you up to Part 2 of the streaming party for his upcoming LP, The Avalanche, plus free MP3 downloads.

GRAM PARSONS prevented the infamous Altamont concert from turning into a bloodbath, according to Keith Richards, Lord of the Undead.

WILCO is touring Canada, so Jeff Tweedy is talking to Vue Weekly about the band's new songwriting process and to the Edmonton Sun about why he doesn't like to play the new songs often live. But they played o­ne o­n Conan O'Brien recently, which you can stream via the Hype Machine.

ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO played the World Cafe recently, so you can stream a set from NPR. the accompanying article makes o­nly brief mention of his health problems and personal tragedies, but if you aren't familiar with them, you can check out his recent interview at PopMatters.

ARCTIC MONKEYS bassist Andy Nicholson reportedly left the band as a result of a secret family crisis, according to a family member.

SIR BOB GELDOF and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan are among those selected by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to police how wealthy countries live up to their aid commitments to Africa.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Anthony Rossomando, who filled in when the troubled singer left the Libertines, is now replacing him in the supposedly sober supermodel. The alternate punchline incorporates the fact that he is currently a member of Dirty Pretty Things.

NICOLE KIDMAN and KEITH URBAN got hitched yesterday. The country singer had to sign a pre-nuptial agreement earning him £350,000 for every year he is with the actress, with any settlement becoming null and void if the former junkie uses illegal drugs or alcohol to excess.

MARCIA CROSS also got hitched to stockbroker Tom Mahoney at a wedding attended by her co-Desperate Housewives Eva Longoria and Felicity Huffman. Cross has been plagued by rumors that she was a lesbian. NTTAWWT.

SELMA BLAIR and AHMET ZAPPA, otoh, are getting unhitched after two years of marriage.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Click clicked with audiences to the tune of 40 million, which is toward the low end for a Sandler opening. Cars slipped to the second slot with 22.5 million, which is not a big drop for week three, though the movie still lags prior Pixar pics. Nacho Libre dropped a troubling 57 percent, but has already made 52.6 million o­n a 35 million budget. Waist Deep, which opened barely wide o­n 1,000 screens, made 9.4 million and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift plunged 61 percent in its second week. Hollywood is desperately hoping Superman Returns and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest are huge hits, but the lesson here may be that it's easier to make money o­n a moderate budget.

PIRATES: Speaking of which, director Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp recruited Hal Willner to produce an album of pirate music featuring Bono, Lou Reed, Nick Cave, Richard Thompson, Lucinda Williams and more. E! has an amusing piece eamining the cutthroat world of Capt. Jack Sparrow imitators in Tinseltown.

BRADGELINA: Sites all over the 'net got cease-and-desist letters over allegedly stolen photos of the family taken in Namibia, including images from a private baby shower. Yet not everyone got the e-mail. You would thing the Jolie-Pitts' bigshot legal crew would know about how to find things with Technorati. Meanwhile, the paparazzo arrested at a day care center attended by Maddox talked to TMZ, but insisted o­n anonymity!

JESSICA SIMPSON: The pneumatic blonde's latest single, "A Public Affair," sounds like a lame imitation of Madonna's "Holiday." And now she's reportedly becoming chummy with Cher, so maybe a remake of "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" is in our future. Readers of InStyle have voted her Hollywood's Favorite Body. And the Gallery of the Absurd has created the Creepy Dad Trading Card for Papa Joe Simpson, the former preacher-turned-manager who can't stop talking about his daughter's breasts.

THE McCARTNEYS: A raunchy video of Heather Mills McCartney performing a sexy striptease is to be aired o­n an X-rated British TV channel.

DAVID HASSELHOFF has been voted the king of cyberspace, according to a Pipex survey. The king got a little testy o­n CNN's American Morning, after Soledad O'Brien asked about his wife's charges of abuse.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: US Weekly joins the press chorus asking, "When Will We See Suri?"

AARON SPELLING, the producer of Beverly Hills 90210, Dynasty, Fantasy Island, Starsky and Hutch, Hart to Hart, Charlie's Angels, and Love Boat, died o­n Friday, days after suffering a stroke, his publicist said. He was 83.

MADONNA is pricing herself out of the UK market, with fans revolting against "outrageous" ticket prices.

JESSICA ALBA moves magazines, so she's the cover of Entertainment Weekly's "hot list" issue. Just Jared has pics of Alba's photoshoot to lighten you Monday mood. Plus, a fan site has posted video of her comedic turn with King Kong from the MTV Movie Awards.

THE WORLD'S FUNNIEST JOKE was written by Spike Milligan of the Goon Show. But it is not, as Monty Python would have it, a "killer joke."

IRAQ: The US has given its support to Prime Minister al-Maliki's national reconciliation plan, mentioned here Friday. Some senators expressed fears about the scope of an amnesty, but the US ambassador to Baghdad said it does not include those who have killed US troops. It was refereshing to hear Sen. Carl Levin mention the US liberated Iraq and got rid of a "horrific dictator." Sen. Richard Durbin claimed the plan also calls for the beginning of withdrawal of American troops with a timetable, but the plan sets no deadline for withdrawal. Moreover, the plan calls for "the necessity of agreeing o­n a timetable under conditions that take into account the formation of Iraqi armed forces so as to guarantee Iraq's security," which sounds much like the conditions-based approach that is current US policy. The Times of London reports that the main insurgent groups intend to reject the plan. At ITM, Mohammed is also against amnesty for outlaw militias. The top American commander in Iraq has drafted a plan that projects sharp reductions in US troop levels by the end of 2007, with the first cuts coming this September, according to the NYT. Of course, this sort of story might be meant for domestic political consumption, but the reductions in equipment suggest it's serious (at least for now). Meanwhile, oil production is now over 2.5 million barrels a day, a record since the fall of Saddam.

CLOWNS attacked a nuclear missile silo in North Dakota. And I'm not insulting them; the attackers were dressed as clowns.

XIKU THE CHINESE CHIMP has almost quit chain-smoking, but it has taken a beer or two to help get him through detox.

SEA LIONS and DOLPHINS are participating in large-scale military exercises in the Pacific this month. I think I've seen this movie before.

BILLY THE GOAT has been demoted from lance-corporal to a private in the Royal Welsh regiment for behaving like a goat.

HARRIET, the world's oldest tortoise, has died in Australia after a short illness at age 176. Harriet is believed to have been studied by Charles Darwin.

A GATOR was nabbed by the police yesterday... o­n Long Island. Last week there was o­ne in Philly. These gators get around.

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The Jam, Elvis Perkins, Cutout Bin, Jose Gonzalez and English Baboons   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 23, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE...

...with THE JAM. Original Pate drummer Ron Hahm pointed me to an absolute trove o­n YouTube, including the band's final TV appearance o­n The Tube from late 1982. It even kicks off with "Ghosts" which popped up in the Pate setlist early o­n. The band also does a ripping cover of Curtis Mayfield's "Move On Up." If you prefer the band's earlier output, there's this hour-plus show from German TV's Rockpalast circa 1980. That set includes "Little Boy Soldiers," another tune that made the early Pate setlist.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Road Blocks. Go from Point "A" to Point "B." What could be easier?

WHO'S LEFT: Pete Townshend should know better than to blog a story featuring a sex act between two teenagers, as he's still o­n the Sex Offenders' Register in the UK.

ELVIS PERKINS: Stereogum names the band led by the son of Anthony Perkins an "Artist to Watch." The band has a pair streaming from MySpace, but there's plenty more o­n the Hype Machine, as the band has posted a bunch of MP3s o­n the official website.

CHUCK BERRY: With the DVD of Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll coming out next week (after being long out-of-print o­n home video), director Taylor Hackford and others get the chance to tell you what a complete pain Berry was to work with.

WEEKEND CUTOUT BIN: Another helping of fortuitous finds from the Hype Machine. Elvis Costello - "Radio, Radio"; The Skatalites - "Guns of Navarone"; Patti Smith - "Because The Night"; Gram Parsons (with Emmylou Harris) - "A Song For You"; Richard Thompson - "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" (live at KBCO); Broken Social Scene - "Anthems For A Seventeen Year-Old Girl"; The Minus 5 (featuring Robyn Hitchcock) - "Your Day Will Come" (Alternate Version); The Pipettes - "Why Did You Stay"; Teenage Fanclub - "The Concept"; Pearl Jam - "Kick Out The Jams" (with the explicit intro).

WOLFMOTHER: The Late Show with David Letterman is streaming an exclusive performance of "Woman" from the heavy rock band's self-titled disc.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Speaking of Letterman, I thought I'd better post this clip of Sonic Youth playing "Incinerate" while it's still o­n YouTube. If you haven't heard Rather Ripped, you might be surprised at how normal and near-pop it is.

DAVID LOWERY, of Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, talks to the Charleston Post and Courier about using Andy Kaufman-esque tactics against Cracker's ex-label and trying to write records the way Thomas Pynchon writes novels or Federico Fellini made movies. You can stream Cracker from the Hype Machine and Camper Van Beethoven from MySpace.

CULTURE CLUB: To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, the o­nly thing worse than reforming Culture Club would be reforming Culture Club without Boy George. Granted, there's a bench warrant out for the Boy's arrest, but it just ain't the Archies without the Jughead beat.

JOSE GONZALEZ: The New Zealand Herald calls the folk-rocker a man of contradictions, but he tells NOW that the comparisons to Nick Drake were a bit premature: "It wasn't until after I started playing shows that I began listening to Nick Drake. People would ask me after every gig if I liked Nick Drake, because I sounded so much like him. So I decided to check out his albums. At first I thought, 'This guy doesn't sound anything like me,' but the more I listened the more I enjoyed what I heard. Now I'd say he's an influence, too." You can stream his appearance last week o­n KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic in multiple formats, including video.

WEEZER: Rivers Cuomo got married in Hawaii recently.

RADIOHEAD: In The New Yorker, critic Sasha Frere-Jones, who has not been a fan of the band, has reconsidered.

THE SOPRANOS: Today may be D-Day for HBO to give a final counter-offer to six of the show's cast members who remain unsigned for the final episodes of the series. Lorraine Bracco may have the vineyard to fall back o­n, but James Gandolfini is reportedly hosting a sit-down this weekend with hardcore holdouts Steven Van Zandt and Tony Sirico.

NOW SHOWING: This week's wide releases are the Adam Sandler-controlled Click (21 percent Rotten o­n the Tomatometer, but probably critic-proof) and the Tyrese vehicle Waist Deep (43 percent Rotten overall, but 55 percent with the "cream of the crop" critics). The world waits for Wednesday, when Superman Returns (early reviews have it at 92 percent Fresh overall and 100 percent from the "cream").

SUPER-HYPE: Speaking of which, the PR for Superman Returns ranges as far as Page Six running a blurb o­n the science of Superman and IGN compiling a list of the Top Ten Superman Songs.

KATE BOSWORTH, a/k/a Lois Lane, seems to be on the Skeletor diet, with an NYC eating-disorder specialist pointing to her "emaciated chest" and "collarbone standing out" as signs the five-foot-seven star is too thin. This looks like a job for... Burger King!

CLICK may not be getting good reviews, but it did inspire MTV to compile a list of Ten All-Time Favorite Movie Gadgets.

BRADGELINA: The fallout from her CNN interview continues as The New York Times lauds her while savaging Anderson Cooper. TMZ has reported that a paparazzo was arrested in Malibu Thursday after allegedly jumping the fence at a daycare center that Maddox was attending. And the ever-reliable National Enquirer claims that tension between the new parents exploded recently over frustration about not being able to spend time alone.

CHER is also becoming an activist, promoting effective helmets for U.S. soldiers (primarily Marines) and donating more than 130K to the group Operation Helmet, which pays about 100 bucks to modify the inside of soldiers' helmets to make them better able to absorb shock from a bomb blast. And she talked to Anderson Cooper about it, too. She has also appeared o­n and called into shows o­n C-SPAN o­n this and related issues.

BRITNEY SPEARS has gone brunette and may have fired the baby's "manny" at the behest of Spenderline, who is busy giving pennies to charity.

CAMERON DIAZ dumped by Justin Timberlake? That rumor is rampant, though I think I heard it denied o­n TV.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Charlie Sheen has reportedly gotten a vist from his new squeeze's parents. And he apparently made a good impression... or her parents are being diplomatic.

THE FAMILY GUY creator Seth MacFarlane slayed ’em at Harvard's pre-graduation "Class Day." Our site admin Lance pointed me to the video of Stewie addressing the seniors.

KING TUTANKHAMUN has returned to the Windy City, so o­n a Friday I couldn't resist the video and the audio.

OZZIE GUILLEN: The Chicago White Sox manager has been fined and ordered to undergo sensitivity training for his use of a derogatory term aimed at Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti. Guillen said to reporters when referring to Mariotti before Tuesday's game, "What a piece of [expletive] he is, [expletive] fag." Sensitivity training may teach Guillen not to slur gays by lumping them in with hacks like Eddie Munster.

IRAQ: At ITM, Omar reports that attacks in Baghdad dropped 19 percent in the first week of Operation Forward Together, and that the new gov't is turning its attention to confronting the partisian militias. Contrary to media reports, Japan denies it is planning to pull out of Iraq. Apparently, there was a misinterpretation of stories about future handovers to Iraqi forces by Britain and other countries. The Times of London claims that the new gov't will soon announce a sweeping plan for national reconciliation that will offer Iraqi resistance groups inclusion in the political process and an amnesty for their prisoners if they renounce violence and lay down their arms. London's Independent has o­ne of those rare pieces noting that the Kurdish region is largely peaceful, and cities are beginning to thrive.

IRAN: UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says that Iran's foreign minister told him Tehran was seriously considering the Western offer for ending the dispute of Iran's nuke program. Iranian Pres. Ahmadinejad derided foes of Iran's nuclear work as mentally disturbed.

NORTH KOREA: Former Pres. Clinton's Defense Secretary and Assistant Defense Secretary argue that the US should launch a pre-emptive strike o­n the North Korean ICBM before it can be test launched. The pre-emptive, unilateral, cowboy warmongers in the Bush Admin. have dismissed the idea. Of course, this would be a much less serious issue if the 1994 "Agreed Framework" had not been a sham.

BABOONS are stealing flags so they can root for England in the World Cup.

FIVE RARE MONKEYS, including a sick mother and her weeks-old baby, have been stolen from a British zoo.

BAMBI, the New York tabby, is the o­nly contestant from the Meow Mix House that has not been adopted. Mandy Stadtmiller, who wrote the article for the New York Post, must feel like Victoria Corningstone.

MAIL CARRIERS in Philadelphia, PA may be used to barking dogs, but not a hissing four-foot alligator.

THE TASMANIAN DEVIL -- a species currently endangered by a rampant facial tumor disease -- is getting help from Warner Bros.

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